COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In an interview with NBC4’s Colleen Marshall Tuesday, Rep. Jim Jordan calls the idea that he wouldn’t stand up for abused athletes ridiculous.
At least four former wrestlers and one referee are on record saying they complained about Strauss to then-assistant wrestling coach and now Congressman Jim Jordan. The high-profile representative insists he knew nothing.
In an interview Tuesday morning with Colleen Marshall, Jordan insisted he knew nothing, and sought to discredit those who say otherwise.
Colleen: Congressman, I have to ask you, we’ve done a number of stories on the Doctor Strauss situation at Ohio State. And I’ve talked to athletes who said they were there when you were there that you were aware that he was showering daily that you were aware of sexual abuse and one of the referees said he personally told you. Has any of that refreshed your memory about what was going on with Dr. Strauss?
Jordan: Look. Every single coach has said the same thing I’ve said. All kinds of athletes have said the same thing I’ve said. And the reason they’ve said that is because it’s the truth. The idea that I wouldn’t stand up for our athletes if I thought there was some kind of harm happening to them is ridiculous. I’ve stood up to the to the FBI. I’ve stood up to the IRS. I’ve stood up to Adam Schiff. I’ve stood up to John Boehner, the Speaker of the House from our own state in our own party. So, if I think, there was, if I thought there was something wrong or if I knew there was something wrong happening, I would have stood up for him. But like I said, everyone, every single coach has said the same thing I have because the reason they’ve said that just because that’s the truth.
Colleen: Well, the fencing coach didn’t say that in fact she wouldn’t let her athletes go to him anymore. Coach Remenyik, she said that all the coaches were aware, and I’ve talked to other coaches who were there at the time and athletes like Dan Ritchie says Dr. Strauss had a locker two down from yours. How were you not aware that he was in there taking a shower every day and pleasuring himself in front of these students when they all knew about it?
Jordan: Well, I mean look, if someone would have reported some kind of abuse to me if I had known about it, I would have reported it. I would have taken on anyone. I would have defended our athletes just like I defend the taxpayers when when the IRS targeted taxpayers, just like I stood up to all kinds of folks in Washington, I would have done it. But no one reported anything and then we’d never heard of any type of abuse, that’s why…
Colleen: And you didn’t see anything?
Jordan: … and that that’s why every, no, I did not. and that’s why every single coach and all kinds of athletes have said the same thing I have.
Reporter: Where do you think the disconnect is there? Who you think many of these people that were at Ohio State around the same time you were why they say something different than what you’re saying?
Jordan: You’d have to ask them. And and if there was something that that happened to them, we certainly want, we certainly want to address that now. And and I know Ohio State is working with the folks who have come forward. All I know is there’s been two individuals who said that somehow that I knew. The two individuals who said that, one has spent years in prison for fraud and the other one was this this referee who I think is is completely lying about what he said, that never happened. Both myself and the other coaches have said the same thing.